Mary Lloyd says that retirement is simply not for old folks, anymore!   In fact, she is out to change the concept that retirement means sitting in rocking chairs, watching sunsets, and playing shuffleboard, with the big night out every week consisting of a bus ride to the bingo hall. To young people, that seems as attractive as a long, slow root canal without Novocain.   Lloyd is the author of Super-Charged Retirement from Hankfritz Press (www.mining-silver.com), and her view is that retirement doesn’t mean retreating from life, but rather, embracing it and all the things that drive one’s passions and fuel one’s fire.   “The current version of retirement doesn’t work because we are living too long to be satisfied with a life that is focused primarily on leisure,” says Lloyd. “To make this stage of life meaningful, it needs to be shaped according to the values and preferences of each individual. That’s not as easy as it sounds and we need more resources to help us find the right things to create a satisfying life once we are old enough to retire.”   Her advice doesn’t come from studies or data, but by walking the walk. By the time she was 47, she was working as a division manager for a Fortune 200 company, and found retirement a financially feasible option. So, in 1993, she left her job to embark on her “last” career, which was as a fiction writer. Given the tough ladder she had climbed in the business world, she didn’t think this next phase of her life would be difficult.   After trying everything from a multi-month world cruise to deploying to Texas with the Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita – with a few adventures in between – Lloyd finds herself singing a different song in 2009. Her message is simple: the current approach of retirement doesn’t work.   Her tips for her baby-boomer brethren include:   *The 100 percent leisure model of retirement (“the Golden Years”) is just a marketing spin for “get out of the way.”   *We need some kind of work to thrive once we retire, even if we don’t do it for pay. Retiring doesn’t mean we have to stop making a difference.   *By this time in our lives, each of us has a unique set of skills, talents and abilities. We need to mesh that with a personal sense of what’s important to define our own individual sense of purpose.   *Living through our sense of purpose is as essential as breathing. Once we lose that, we lose the ability to make the choices we need to thrive.     *Much of what we blame on aging is really the result of mindset and lifestyle decisions. It is within our capability to change and alter those elements of our lives, and master our destiny, rather than be a slave to circumstances.   “The RV model might work for some, but most of us need a goal to work toward to feel worthwhile,” Lloyd says. “To retire well, we need learn how to include that and still relax and have fun.”

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